Podcast: The world of “Digital Aura,” part II

Cassils and Adrián Regnier Chávez discuss their contributions to a forward-looking art show in Madison.

Cassils and Adrián Regnier Chávez discuss their contributions to a forward-looking art show in Madison. (Photo by Guido Mencari.)


Still from Cassils'

Still from Cassils’ “Inextinguishable Fire.” Courtesy Madison Museum of Contemporary art.

On last week’s Tone Madison podcast, contributor Phoebe Schlough brought us two conversations about Digital Aura, a show of video, digital, and installation art running through August 6 at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and through July 29 at Arts + Literature Laboratory. This week’s episode concludes our two-part series on the show with two artists whose work is in the MMOCA portion of Digital Aura.

The performance artist Cassils approaches their work with a profound emphasis on physical intensity and endurance. Not only does their work place extreme demands upon their body, it also frequently centers around Cassils’ identity as a gender-nonconforming person. Their work “Inextinguishable Fire,” on display at MMOCA through July 14, consists of extreme slow-motion footage of Cassils enduring a movie stunt in which one’s whole body is chilled to a hypothermic state, covered in a protective suit, and set ablaze. Cassils has performed this live, but in the video piece at MMOCA, the viewer sees the 14-second burn extended to 14 minutes, creating an immersive, demanding meditation on violence.

Adrián Regnier Chávez‘s “I” is the next and final work in Digital Aura, on display July 15 through August 6, and it’s an entrancing work of digital animation. The piece is also part of an in-the-works series that will eventually have one installment for each letter of the alphabet. It’s “the story of a forest,” as Chávez described it, but it melds that narrative element with techniques in experimental animation.

Give the conversations a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts.

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